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If I Should Fall From Grace With God
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 19 Dec 2009
The Poguetry In Motion EP had already telegraphed Shane MacGowan’s Pogues’ songwriting skills (exemplified by ‘The Body Of An American’, destined to play a crucial role in The Wire, and ‘Rainy Night In Soho’). But the band were playing like demons too, augmented by new recruits Phil Chevron and Terry Woods. If I Should Fall From Grace With God, produced by Steve Lillywhite, was a tour de force, from the cajun-inflected title tune (Joe Strummer’s all-time favourite song) to Chevron’s emigration anthem ‘Thousands Are Sailing’; from the mariachi madness of ‘Fiesta’ to the melancholic beauty of ‘Lullaby of London’ and ‘The Broad Majestic Shannon’; from the proto-Pirates of the Caribbean horrorshow of ‘Turkish Song of the Damned’ to the bristling agit-prop of ‘The Birmingham Six’. And, of course, ‘Fairytale of New York’...
No 13 in 2009, as voted for by over 200 Irish musicians. Up from No 15 in 2004.